Clean sweep for Hemel sides
Celebrations abounded at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday when all four of the club’s senior sides won on the same day for the first time in recent memory
The winning trail started with a comfortable away victory for Hemel’s first XI over seventh-placed Letchworth Garden City, which cemented Hemel’s position in the top half of the Saracens Herts League Championship table.
Put in first again, batting proved to be tough throughout the innings for Hemel, with the 100-mark not arriving until the 30th over.
Jack Bailey (44) and Gareth James (42) were the best scorers for the visitors as they forced the pace along, but tight Letchworth bowling kept the brakes on any great run splurge as Hemel closed on 199-8.
Relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season, Letchworth were not going to give anything away.
However, Hemel’s bowling proved too much for them.
Youngster Charlie Hoskins claimed his opening first-team league wickets with a spell of 17-2-48-3, taking out the top three Letchworth batsmen in the process.
The spin experts Parth Mehta (4-56) and skipper Nick Hodgins (2-33) continued to rack up the wickets and it was then left to the regular routine of bringing back opening bowler Gareth James for a late spell. He caught-and-bowled Letchworth’s top scorer George Denman (47) to wrap up a 35-run triumph.
The victory was their third win in four outings after a rocky start to the season and ensured that Hemel held on to fifth spot in the standings.
They are now only five points adrift of fourth-placed Flitwick and 30 points off third-ranked Reed.
This Saturday Hemel will hope to continue their successful run when they entertain winless bottom side Leverstock Green at Heath Park from 11am.
Hemel II’s home clash with then-league leaders Potters Bar II had the potential to be a difficult game, but the hosts brushed aside their opponents with aplomb in a 68-run victory.
Batting first, Hemel put on 55 for the opening wicket, as openers Matt Dale (23) and Suren Perera (81) rattled through to help Hemel reach 200 in the first 40 overs.
Captain Tom Waterton added 46, while Eranda Jayasinghe (18) and Ed Grayson (18) pushed Hemel up to 252 all out in their 50 overs.
Tight bowling then kept Potters down to 63-1 in their first 20 overs.
Will Hodgins (2-42) and Ross Chapman (2-46) kept the scoring under control, Grayson (2-19) picked up a few more wickets and Suren Perera (3-21) was able to come on to wrap up the tail for a convincing Hemel win.
The second XI now find themselves in fourth place in the Saracens Herts League Division 3B standings.
This Saturday they travel to Wheathampstead, the team just one place and ten points behind them in the table.
Hemel’s third XI enjoyed a pleasant visit to the Mill Hill suburb of Barnet on Saturday to take on bottom-three outfit Old Cholmeleians, newcomers to Saracens Herts League Division 6A after promotion last term.
The home side won the toss and decided to bat first, but were duly bowled out for just 112 after 41 overs.
The Hemel wickets were spread among the leg spin of Alfie Bordoley (3-21), Sam Wheeler (2-5), Adam Moulster (2-11) and Ajay Savania (2-28).
In reply, the visitors made 113-6 to win the game by four wickets. Moulster, with a steady 29 not out, and John Clulow adding 25 were the top scorers for Hemel.
Despite the scoreline, it did not prove to be the easiest of chases, with Hemel losing six wickets, but number seven Moulster’s display and middle-order Clulow’s knock saw them home. The victory leaves them in a steady third place in the Division 6A table.
This Saturday they visit bottom-but-one side Old Finchleians II as Hemel look to close the six-point gap on second-placed Mill Hill Village.
After three successes and then three losses to start the season, Hemel’s fourth XI got back to winning ways on Saturday with a home victory over bottom-two side Hertford IV to reclaim second spot in the Saracens Herts League Division 9A standings.
Put in after losing the toss, Hemel skipper Mike Samuels (58) and Jim Langley (60) put on 108 for the first wicket and an undefeated 36 from Greg Keene pushed Hemel to 205-3 from their 45 overs.
Sharp fielding from Hemel led to an impressive three run-outs in Hertford’s reply, while Dan Keene (3-32) and Darryl Barnett (2-18) kept the visitors under control as they were skittled for 160 for a 45-run Hemel win.
This Saturday they host sixth-placed Hatfield Hyde II at Heath Park.
There was no game for the Sunday first XI at the weekend but there are due to be back in action this Sunday when hosting Hertford in the Lords Chess Valley League Division Two. Hemel are in second place, while their visitors are in fourth.